Buying time approaches for Angora wether, fine-wool ewe lamb futurity prospect animals

San Angelo Stock Show youth contests stress livestock knowledge, management skills

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu
Contacts: Dr. Reid Redden, 325-657-7324, reid.redden@ag.tamu.edu
Brittni Kaczyk,325-653-7785, www.sanangelorodeo.com

SAN ANGELO –  The time approaches for young exhibitors to select animals for two livestock competitions unique among the San Angelo Livestock Show youth contests, said the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state sheep and goat specialist.  

Goats to be entered in the Junior Angora Goat Wether Futurity must be owned by the exhibitor by Oct. 1  and the Junior Ewe Lamb Futurity set of two ewe lambs must be owned by Oct. 20, said Dr. Reid Redden of San Angelo.

“With all the school activities about to gear up, it’s easy to let dates two months down the road slip,” he said. “But these unique contests deserve a look.

A young exhibitor awaits the judge’s decision during a past Junior Angora Goat Wether Futurity at the San Angelo Stock Show. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)

“These two events are centered around the commercial value of the animals,” Redden said.And in the case of the ewe lamb futurity, also the young owner’s knowledge of their charge’s management and record-keeping skills.   

“Both contests are real-world market animal shows, with the winning animals placed based on their value as commercial livestock,” Redden said.

The ewe lamb futurity is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 2 and the Angora wether futurity is scheduled for 8 a.m. Feb. 10. Both events will be in the H-E-B Community Center located on the fairgrounds.

“The Junior Angora Wether Goat Futurity has several facets and gets a lot done in its  comparatively short time slot on show day,” Redden said. “The animals are shown in full fleece. The top 10 animals from each class are then shorn on-site immediately following their classes and then shown again out of the fleece as meat animals.”

Redden said 67 percent of the total score is calculated from the goat’s body conformation and 33 percent from the mohair fleece. The fleeces from the top 10 animals in each of the three classes are weighed, micron-tested for fineness and analyzed objectively through instrumentation to determine the characteristics and value of each fleece. The fleeces are then given a dollar value based on the mohair market the day of the show.

“The object is to exhibit an animal that can place high in body conformation as well as produce a quality fleece,” he said. “Successful exhibitors learn to appreciate the multiple facets of the Angora goat business; the maintenance and nutrition, fiber production, harvesting, mohair quality and marketing as well as the traits important for meat production.”

Redden said the Junior Angora Goat Wether Futurity and the Ewe Lamb Futurity are two of the most educational programs the San Angelo Stock Show has to offer.

“The two contests involve much more than buying and showing an animal,” Redden said. “The young exhibitors learn about the sheep and goat industry in terms of what the industry is looking for, whether it’s a meat animal or fiber producer. ”

Redden said show prospects can still be purchased at reasonable prices, which reflect the commercial value of the animal.

He said to enter the Angora futurity, an exhibitor’s AgriLife Extension agent or agricultural teacher must validate the goats were shorn on or after Aug. 1 and that the animal was owned by the exhibitor on or before Oct. 1. Fine-wool ewe lamb futurity lambs must be owned and shorn by Oct. 20.  

Redden said the two animals’ uniformity is important during the Junior Ewe Lamb Futurity, but that’s only part of what it takes to win.

“Each contestant exhibits two fine-wool ewe lambs, either registered or unregistered,” he said. “The animals are haltered and while being judged are not handled by the child.

“But that’s only part of this competition as the exhibitors must also place a class of four wool fleeces and a class of fine-wool ewes followed by questions on both classes. This portion alone counts for 20 percent of the points earned. In addition, they must keep records on their animals and take a written test covering all aspects of wooled sheep production including breeding and selection, sheep handling and facilities, health, general management, nutrition, reproduction and, finally, wool.

“I’d highly recommend both futurities for any youth interested in pursuing just about any facet of the sheep and goat industry,” Redden said.

Official rules for both contests can be found in the San Angelo Stock Show premium book. Contact your local AgriLife Extension office or Brittni Kaczyk, 325-653-7785, or go to www.sanangelorodeo.com at the San Angelo stock show office to get started.

For more information, contact Redden at 325-657-7324, reid.redden@ag.tamu.edu .

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